Pfizer Warns of Drug Supply Disruption Following US-Tornado

25.07.2023 - Over 30 drugs, including painkiller fentanyl and anesthetic lidocaine, may see disruptions in supply after a tornado destroyed a warehouse at Pfizer's Rocky Mount facility in North Carolina, US, last week.

All 3,200 colleagues from the facility are safe following the natural disaster on July 19. The main damage to the facility was centered on a warehouse, which stored raw materials, packaging supplies, and finished medicines, namely sterile injectables. After the initial assessment of the site by Pfizer, there does not appear to be major damage to the medicine production areas of the facility. Alternative manufacturing locations are being explored to cover supply chain issues in the interim. 

The Rocky Mount site has been an important production hub for sterile injectables since 1968 and is currently responsible for 25% of Pfizer's supply. Products manufactured there include anesthesia, analgesia, therapeautics, anti-infectives, and neuromuscular blockers, accounting for almost 8% of all sterile injectables used in US hospitals. 

It was also announced that Pfizer and the Pfizer Foundation have donated to the American Red Cross and the United Way for relief support for those affected in the area. 

Clearly nature is strong. So too is ingenuity and the human spirit. A great deal of work needs to be done, but I assure everyone, most importantly the people of the Rocky Mount community, that we will put Pfizer’s full power behind this effort,” said Dr. Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO, Pfizer. “We will work in lockstep with our partners and local authorities to restore and rebuild the site and the community.”

The company sent a letter late last week to its hospital customers indentifying approximately 64 different formulations or dosages that may experience continued or new supply disruptions, reported Reuters. Of those more than 30 were produced at the Rokcy Mount facility.